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Government Grants for Small Business

Government Grants for Small Business Small business owners, new and old, have been impacted by the changing economic climate in America. As the economy tanked, so did a number of small businesses across the country. In speaking to many small business owners across the country, one is likely to hear that they are "hanging on by a thread." The gravity of the situation for many small businesses has the owners of those businesses seeking any means to continue with their plans for expansion, securing the funds to begin operations, or funds to assist with their present operational costs. Small business grants, if located and obtained, can be a valuable asset for small businesses. Small business grants, unlike loans, do not have to be repaid. Small business grants are offered by the federal government, state governments and local jurisdictions.

The federal government provides small business grants to small businesses that wish to conduct research aligned with the research priorities defined by the federal government. One such small business grant solicitation is the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant, which encompasses a unique opportunity that allows small businesses to develop a proposal that demonstrates an innovative approach to conducting research in a defined area that has been pre-determined by the federal government. This small business grant opportunity is presently available from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Grant amounts very widely depending on the organization for which the research will be conducted and given the scope of the research to be conducted. For more information on small business grants for research and development, visit: sba.gov.

Partially funded by the State of Georgia and partially funded by the federal government, the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) pilot small business grant is presently available to qualifying small business in Georgia. The program provides federal government funding in the form of a small business grant for 65 to 75 percent of the program costs, with states supplying the remainder. For more information visit: georgia.org.

Local jurisdictions around the country are developing cooperative agreements and creating small business grants to assist small business in sustaining and expanding their operations. As one example of a small business grant in Ohio demonstrates, in March of 2011 the Charter One Foundation partnered with the Ohio City Near West neighborhood and awarded $40,000 to seven businesses seeking to expand their operations in their neighborhood. For more information visit:cleveland.com.

Given the current economic state of the US, one could expect that small business grant opportunities will continue to grow. Interested small businesses should remain vigilant in their search for newly emerging small business grant opportunities.

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